Back in the day, if you wanted to get your hands on fresh, locally grown produce, then an early morning trip to the farmers market was in order - which, let’s be honest, didn’t happen all too often. Nowadays however, with the growth of online retailing and the increasing desire for people to eat healthy, wholesome foods, it’s never been easier to get your five-a-day thanks to the rise in fresh food delivery services.
Indeed, research carried out by the Soil Association shows that sales of organic produce through box and mail-order schemes more than doubled in 2014, with some 400,000 households regularly receiving a delivery of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables.
We know what you’re thinking - this is going to set you back a pretty penny. However, eating seasonally and week on week actually has the potential to be more economical in the long-run . You’re much less likely to experience any waste and sticking to a routine budget as well as a rough menu will help you keep on the financial straight and narrow.
So, if getting your daily dose of healthy delivered to your front door sounds good to you then read on to discover our edit of the top five fresh food delivery services available...
Abel & Cole - for fussy foodies
Vegetable veterans Abel & Cole were one of the original companies to kickstart grocery delivery services nearly 25 years ago - so when it comes to fresh produce - these guys really know their onions.
Working directly with the best farmers, bakers and carrotstick makers in the land, Abel & Cole use only the best organic and ethically sourced products around - which they’re so confident in, they offer a full refund if you’re not 110% satisfied with your purchases. Choosing from a wide selection of boxes, customers can opt for whatever they fancy - whether that’s a vegetable medley for a salad or a combination or enough fruit, veg and fish to feed the 5000.
For the fussy foodies out there you also have the option to customise your box so that you can switch out an item you don’t like (we’re looking at you, Brussells sprouts) for something you’d prefer. Delivering on the same day each week and at a place of your own convenience they make eating healthy as easy as one, two, pea.
Abel & Cole is available to buy online , boxes from £12.50
Hello Fresh - for flavour seekers
Perfect for when you’re stuck in a cooking rut, Hello Fresh is the ideal antidote to those who live off a weekly rotation of beans on toast and spaghetti bolognese.
A slightly more luxurious version of your average fruit and veg boxes, the master chefs behind creative culinary company Hello Fresh source the best local ingredients and transform them into a range of nutritious menus to suit both vegetarian and meat based diets. Once chosen, boxes will arrive every Tuesday and Thursday filled with the fresh ingredients and condiments needed to put together a world of deliciously different dishes.
Allowing you to forgo the stress of shopping and the thought of planning the week ahead, there couldn’t be a simpler or more convenient way to dip your toe into cooking, while also embarking on a healthy, wholesome lifestyle. I mean really, they do all the hard work - all you have to do is turn up.
Hello Fresh is available to buy online , boxes from £39 (serves two per night)
Riverford Organics - for non-city dwellers
Having developed from just a man and his wheelbarrow delivering vegetables to 30 friends in Devon, Riverford Organics is now an award-winning organic box scheme that produces around 47,000 boxes a week for homes all over the UK.
The fresh and wholesome family fun business have since received a crop of awards, including ‘Best Organic Retailer’ and ‘BBC Farmer of the Year’, and is the ideal option for those who don’t live in London. With five regional farms based throughout the UK, you’d be hard pressed to find a location they don’t deliver to - or an item they don’t sell, for that matter.
Not just limited to fruit and veg, visitors can choose and peruse in their extensive online deli that stocks everything from the best chocolate, cheese and wine that Britain has to offer. It’s all the charm of local farmers market, delivered straight to your door.
Riverford Organics is available to buy online , boxes from £10.95
Local Greens - for London locals
If you’re looking to go green through and through, then not for profit organisation Local Greens is the group for you.
Run by veg enthusiasts living in Herne Hill and East Dulwich, this weekly scheme sources and delivers their fresh produce in areas local to SE London - to ensure maximum freshness and minimum food miles.
Picking a whole host of great tasting seasonal veg from small organic, or spray-free farms, Local Greens works to ensure the process of ground to grub is as simple and sustainable as possible (in fact, their nearest farm is but a mere 11 miles away). Simply set up your payment online and find out your closest weekly collection point to get hold of your parcels every Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.
With many of the contents having been picked the same day you take it home, this small but saintly company is the definition of fresh, eco-friendly food.
Local Greens is available to buy online , from £7.50
Farmison & Co - for meat lovers
Driven by top notch quality and taste, Farmison & Co is designed for true foodie fans who’ve got a love of fine dining and a healthy, hearty appetite.
The brainchild of two friends and ex-restaurateurs John Pallagi and Lee Simmonds, the pair were inspired to create this company due to their love of fresh, flavoursome food and great British artisan producers. Here, taste is the number one concern, with everything from finding the best possible suppliers, to developing delivery systems that get orders to customers in the best quality rigorously considered.
They’re also especially well suited to those who like to throw a dinner party or two, with their extensive range of crowd pleasing boxes including the ‘Roast Dinner Veg Box’ or the ‘BBQ’ family favourite. We should also mention their steak selection is also absolutely to die for...
Farmison & Co is available to buy online , from £11.95
For a great way to put all this fruit and veg to use why not try making a delicious and nutritious green smoothie - Amelia Freer shows you how below: